Growing up in the 1980s Navy culture, for me, networking was akin to brown-nosing –something to be avoided. Moreover, you especially did not want anyone to know about your “networking” attempts.
Well, guess what: You live, and you learn.
I’ve since learned that inherent in networking is a basic human instinct: People genuinely want to help! This is even more prevalent in those who have been, and are, successful.
Ultimately, networking is about what you can know and what you can know in advance. To do it right, you need ingenuity combined with dogmatic practical application of the basics: Connect with others, maintain detailed records, and follow-up.
Your network is only limited by your imagination. With apertures wide open, go for it!
Want to learn more? MOAA can help with transition and career resources, and with seminal events like the Military Executive Transition Seminar (MET), our one-day workshop that focuses on key aspects of a successful military-to-civilian transition for military leaders and for veterans looking for advancement in the civilian careers. Learn more about the MET program here.
At its core, networking is about relationships. It is about developing, honing, and maintaining those relationships. We do it seamlessly, every day, as we meet and interact with people. And as we focus on the art and science of networking, we too will come to the realization that it is through networking that approximately 85% of job seekers get their next job.
Bottom line: You should always be networking, even when you’re not actively looking for a job.